Sunday, July 18, 2010

If Walls Could Talk

The adventure today was one that took us on a literary trail through historic Concord.

One of my favorite books from my childhood was one about Louisa May Alcott.  And, of course, I later read Little Women and have seen the movie a zillion times.

Today, Mark took me to

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Lexington Street and

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the house where she lived when she wrote Little Women.

But, before we talk about this house, we have to go just down the street to

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this house.

In 1845, Bronson Alcott, Louisa's father, bought this house and called it "Hillside".  It was this house that Louisa based her book, Little Women.  She said this was the house that she remembered the most in her childhood.

I am sorry so say that there was no photography allowed in either of the homes.  But, for me to be able to walk through each of the rooms of both homes was like walking through the book.

But...there is more to this house...

Not only did the Alcott's live in the house called "Hillside", but in 1852, when Bronson Alcott decided to sell the house, it was purchased by author, Nathaniel Hawthorne.  He renamed the house "The Wayside".

Then, in 1883, Daniel and Harriett Lothrop purchased the house from Hawthorne.  Mrs. Lothrop penned under the name of Margaret Sidney.  She was the author of Five Little Peppers.

But, it was Louise May Alcott's time in the house that I was lost in.  I could see her as Jo, as she lived and played with her sisters in the very rooms were we stood.

Our tour then took us back to the

Boston 017 Alcott house.  Here Louisa lived for twenty years and it was in this house were she completed most of her books.

As with all tours, we ended up in the gift store.  I couldn't leave with my very own copy of Little Women.

As we continued on toward Concord, we were also able to see

Boston 025 the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  It was closed, so no tour here.

Next on my list...

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Walden Pond and the

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home of Henry David Thoreau.

I was again taken back to my school years.  And, it was this poet that I studied and researched for a term paper.

After Thoreau quit work at his Dad's pencil factory in Concord in 1845, he moved to Walden Pond and lived here in this little house for 2 1/2 years.  He was conducting an experiment in solitary living.

In 1854, he published Walden, a famous work.  His guide about living alone...he wrote...

"I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I build myself, on the shores of Walden Pond..."

Thoreau wrote many pieces.  His expressions and messages have wit and poetic sensibility, making them accessible to everyone.

What a great time I had today visiting in the homes of two of my favorite authors.

It is a quote from Thoreau that I would like to leave you with...

"Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake."


  1. I love the book and movie "Little Women". I know this was very exciting for you. It has been so much fun going with you on this journey. I feel as I am walking right beside you. It is like being in the book club and you are telling the story. Granny Clark would have loved this journey with you. Have a safe trip tomorrow.

    Bev & Jerry

  2. What an incredible day! To see such history and the actual Walden Pond... OMG ! Thanks for the post. Be safe & take care!
    Mike & Gerri

  3. Oh I loved Little Women too! And to see Walden Pond, what a treat!!!

    When we came across S. Dakota and southern Minnesota, we stopped at all the Laura Ingalls Wilder places too, and even went out to the banks of Plum Creek where they first lived in a dugout. (now a big lump of a hill, long since collapsed).

    Seeing your favorite author's original homes is like peeking into the mind of the wonderful stories they created.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  4. Hi Dortha
    I just want to let you know how much I've enjoyed your whole trip through the Boston area. It's a place I've never been & your blogs really brought it alive for me. Now I just have to go there! And after today I have to go out & get a copy of Little Women & read it again! Isn't it amazing how all those great authors came out of that same area???
    Hugs, JoAnn

  5. Priceless!!! Great posts through Vermont and Massachusetts. Can't wait to see what's next in Maine. Oh yes, we might even be part of that excursion :-) See ya real soon.